Providing audiences large-screen HD LED technology and sound clarity throughout the America’s Cup Event Village
This summer fans from around the world amassed to the Cross Island of Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard, the nine-acre home to America’s Cup Village, to watch the greatest race on water and enjoy world-class entertainment from artists of the Caribbean. The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) turned to OSA International, Inc. to be the audio, video and staging contractor in order to add spectacular sound and visual attraction for the enjoyment of fans.
At the heart of America’s Cup Village, the Main Stage played host to entertainment and sailors throughout the Cup. OSA installed the stage, audio system and two large LED walls, left and right of the stage, for an impressive display of more than 300 Absen X5 panels.
“Our client wanted a clean look as opposed to a typical truss-heavy structure, so vertical pylons were sunk into the ground and the LED wall hung from 38′ long horizontal I-beams which were then dressed with a scenic border,” explained OSA Project Manager Deb Miller. “This made the stage look amazing.”
Keeping with the clean appearance, ACEA required that all cabling be hidden. “The load-in was scheduled for only one week, so we flew in two months prior to run cable underground,” stated Miller. Six inch diameter conduits at over 330′ in total length ran from the Main Stage to front of house, and then to the grandstands and the LED wall by the seawall.
For the village-wide audio, OSA used Dante to provide audio at both the seawall and the grandstands. “This allowed us to digitally transport audio to the amp location for sportscaster inputs and IFB outputs, and to the seawall PA for host mics and the awards stage,” explained OSA Engineer Brian Daily.
Along the seawall, there was public access to the grandstands and several hospitality viewing areas. Over 450′ in length, OSA custom-manufactured twelve poles and mounted three speaker cabinets per pole, arrayed in different directions to throw the sound long and narrow, maximizing coverage over fewer locations along this public promenade.
OSA installed three more large-screen LED displays – one Absen C7 wall at the grandstands and two Absen X5 walls, one outside of the Mouton Cadet hospitality tent and one on the deck of Club AC, the elite hospitality viewing area provided by the ACEA. The foundation below the grandstand LED wall was poured during set-up, and had to cure prior to hanging the LED wall. The deck at the Club AC ended four feet above the edge of the seawall. This LED wall was the only one mounted on truss. Mega blocks had to be lowered between joists to the sea level with hand chain hoists and attached to solid ground. Then the deck planking was cut around the vertical truss legs.
Additionally, OSA managed and supplied the audio and video village-wide, including distributing the broadcast feeds to systems installed in the viewing grandstands, at the main entrance and in several hospitality and sponsored tents throughout the Village.
The project did not come without its challenges and surprises. During an event like the America’s Cup where the race times are dependent on the wind, the ACEA had to adjust the entertainment schedule accordingly to keep fans in the Village. This kept the OSA crew on their toes constantly. At the Main Stage, FOH Mix Engineer Paul Deuschle described, “Every day was a new challenge. We would come in some mornings and not know what bands were in that day’s line-up. We just had to adapt to the schedule changes.”
Deuschle also stated there were additional challenges due to the event’s island location. “The key was to tell as many artists what we had available so they knew prior to their arrival. We filled four sea containers with A/V gear and tools, but there were many last-minute schedule changes. Back home, if a band rider included a different console, we would truck it in or sub-rent locally. Being on an island with limited local resources, that was not always an option.”
Despite these various challenges, the event was a huge success that was packed with the local flavors of Bermudian entertainment. The opening ceremonies included various acts highlighting the local culture of Bermuda including 4-Forty-1, the official band of the 35th America’s Cup, Gene Steede, the H&H Gombeys, the Gombey Evolution, the “Proud to be Bermudian” cast, the Royal Bermuda Regiment, Cindy Smith, John Seymour, Liv MisLu, Desmond “Rivah” Smith, Live Wire, John Seymour, Aimee Bento and Quinn Outerbridge. Following the opening ceremonies, fans enjoyed daily Main Stage entertainment including performances by Grammy Award winning entertainers and nominees Wyclef Jean, NE-YO, and Jamaican reggae band Third World, as well as many more talented artists. Miller closes, “The event was a challenge, but this is what we do – we roll with the changes and turn out spectacular events. We had an enthusiastic production team and the local crews were a delight to work with.”
ACEA Production Manager Josh Carney remarked, “I cannot really put into words how challenging this production really was, and OSA helped make it the success that it was. The level of professionalism and knowledge – and not just industry knowledge – that the OSA team demonstrated was far above and beyond what anyone expected from an A/V provider. OSA knocked it out of the park! Once the event started, I did not have to worry about the AV, as I knew we were in good hands.”
View pictures of the Opening Ceremonies of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda here.
Photo credit: ©Two & Quarter Photography
About OSA International, Inc.
With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville, OSA International, Inc. creates remarkable live events of every type and scale using cutting-edge engineering, audio systems, LED and video technology that is second-to-none in quality, implementation and execution. For more information, visit www.OSAcorp.com.